Manzoor Pashteen, leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, revealed Thursday that Pakistani authorities have prevented his group from gathering aid for earthquake victims in Herat, Afghanistan.
He criticized the Pakistani government for hindering “the expression of Pashtun humanity.” Mr. Pashteen is one of the influential Pashtun leaders in Pakistan who has repeatedly criticized the government and the military for unlawful killings and abductions in tribal areas, organizing protests in response.
The leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement wrote on his social media, Facebook, on Thursday, “The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement, from the very beginning in Quetta, set up collection aid tents for the earthquake victims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, Pakistani authorities did not permit this and shut it down.” He added, “How oppressed are the Pashtuns that they are not even allowed to express their humanitarian solidarity.”
Simultaneously, as the extent of the damage and the needs have become more apparent following two powerful earthquakes in western Afghanistan over the past five days, several countries have pledged financial assistance to the earthquake victims.
Earlier, a report said that the Taliban refused to grant entry to a team of ten Pakistani doctors at Herat Airport, obstructing their mission to deliver vital medical aid to earthquake victims in the city. The team, consisting of general surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, and paramedics, was denied access to the airport.
A devastating earthquake that struck on Saturday has resulted in a tragic loss of over 2,400 lives and the destruction of at least 20 villages. The recurrent occurrence of such a catastrophic event has left the local population severely traumatized and urgently needed assistance.
The World Health Organization has reported that most victims are women and children. Furthermore, a similar-magnitude earthquake shook western Afghanistan on Wednesday, leading to dozens of injuries. These injured individuals were transported to a nearby hospital in the Herat region, with two reported fatalities.